Lady Mary Anne

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Title - Lady Mary Anne
Contributors - Lizzie Ann Higgins
Reporters - Ailie Edmunds Munro; Peter R. Cooke

Summary - In this song, a young woman loves a much younger boy. She decides to send him to school for another two years with a blue ribbon around his cap to let the ladies know that he's growing. The singer compares Mary Ann's beauty to a flower; her sweetheart is described as the offspring of an oak who will grow to become the boast of the forest.

The song is sung to a pipe tune by John McColl of Oban, piper to MacDonald of Dunacht.

Track Duration (h:m:s) - 00:02:43
Date Recorded - 1970.05.04
Language - Scots
Genre - Song, Information
Collection - School of Scottish Studies

Track ID - 66005
Original Tape ID - SA1970.078
Original Track ID - SA1970.78.A1
Audio Quality - Good
Audio Format - R2R

Classification - GD1222; GD1910; LO35; R31;

Recording Location:
  County - Midlothian
  Parish - Edinburgh
  Village - Edinburgh

Item Notes - 5 verses of 4 lines. Lizzie Higgins' version is very close to Robert Burns' 'Lady Mary Ann', which is his adaptation of the traditional ballad known as 'The College Boy'.
On tape SA1973.151 there is an account of how Lizzie Higgins had help from her father (Donald Higgins) in adapting a pipe tune to fit this song: she got the words of 'Lady Mary Anne' from an old aunt of her father's, but the air was not good. Her father suggested (part of) '(Mrs) MacDonald of Dunacht', which fitted the words perfectly. He told her that this tune had been composed by J. R. MacColl of Oban, who lived about a hundred and thirty years before.
Greig-Duncan vol. 6, pp. 410-412, no. 1222
'Scotland Sings' (E. MacColl, 1953) pp. 78-79
'Bothy Songs & Ballads' (J. Ord, 1930) p. 112
'Singing Island' (E. MacColl & P. Seeger, 1960) p. 19
'Scottish Ballad Book' (N. Buchan, 1973) pp. 133-134
'The Scotish (sic) Minstrel' vol. 4 (R. A. Smith, 1824) p. 14
'Ballads of Scotland' vol. 2 (W. E. Aytoun, 1858) p. 117
'The Scottish Folksinger' (N. Buchan & P. Hall, 1973) p. 71
'Vagabond Songs & Ballads' vol. 2 (R. Ford, 1901) pp. 183-184
'Songs from David Herd's Manuscripts' (H. Hecht, 1904) p. 145
'Minstrelsy Ancient & Modern' (W. Motherwell, 1827) pp. 86-87
'Folksongs of Britain & Ireland' (P. Kennedy, 1975) pp. 473-474
'Traditional Ballad Airs' vol. 2 (W. Christie, 1881) pp. 212-213
'Everyman's Book of English Country Songs' (R. Palmer, 1979) pp. 178-180
'The Works of Robert Burns' (R. Burns ed. A. Cunningham, 1845 edn) pp. 410-411
'The Scots Musical Museum' vol. 4 (J. Johnson & R. Burns, 1853) p. 390, no.377
'Travellers' Songs from England and Scotland' (E. MacColl & P. Seeger, 1977) pp. 117-118

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